Abandoning the folkish feel of earlier records, Ricky Ross
took Deacon Blue
in a more rocking direction on the band's fourth new studio album, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
. It was as if, having failed at becoming the next Van Morrison
decided to become the next Bono
. Songs like "Bethlehem's Gate" were paced by relentless, martial drumming and rhythmic instruments that played pulse patterns rather than complete chords. Meanwhile, Ross adopted a high, breathy singing voice with lots of echo. The lyrics Ross sang had less to do with his old Glasgow neighborhood than with "Peace & Jobs & Freedom" "All Over The World." Many of Deacon Blue's British fans were willing to follow, but America still wasn't listening.